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US troops land in Lithuania amid Ukraine crisis

Lithuania's soldiers take part in a landing operation during a NATO exercise in Nemirseta on June 11, 2012Šiauliai (Lithuania) (AFP) – US troops arrived Saturday in Lithuania, part of a US contingent of 600 sent to the region to reassure NATO allies amid the escalating Ukraine crisis. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite hailed the arrival of American forces as a “deterrence measure” in the region where alarm has risen over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. “We know in this situation who our real friends are coming to help,” Grybauskaite told reporters, after around 150 troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade landed at the Siauliai air base. “If any of our guests are injured, it would mean an open confrontation not with Lithuania but with the United States,” she added.

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